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Rattled PM looks to change the rules

Rattled PM looks to change the rules

"Labour is so desperate to take the attention off its own internal tensions that Helen Clark now admits she may change the rules to suit herself," says National Party Treaty and Constitutional spokesman Dr Wayne Mapp.

"It's outright desperation and an affront to democracy."

Dr Mapp is commenting in the wake of suggestions that the future of the Waitangi Tribunal is 'up in the air as the prime minister signals her displeasure with its performance'.

"So now we have a situation where on one hand where the public are supposed to accept that a 'high-level inquiry' into race relations is the answer, but we shouldn't expect any action if Helen Clark doesn't agree with the findings.

"The proposal for a Royal Commission on race relations is nothing more than a bid to shut down political debate.

"National does not accept that unelected judges and academics have the right to determine the future direction of our country.

"Whether Helen Clark likes it or not, in a democracy that is for the Parliament and the public to decide.

"She is throwing together a recipe for political paralysis, which does not have substantial cross-party support.

"It is a convenient escape route for a Government that's trapped between its Maori caucus and doing what's in the national interest.

"Helen Clark is blaming everyone but herself for her current predicament. If she wanted to find the real culprit for the problems currently facing our country, she need look no further than the mirror," says Dr Mapp.

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